milly rose stephen illustrator artist

What happened to my style

(Illustration by Milly Rose Stephen)
by Vicky Pylorides

That style evolves over time is something we all experience on a personal level. People learn, people grow, people change, and in parallel, so does their style. For most of us there are no radical changes when it comes to forming our style over time -okay, except maybe for some weird excessive choices we made in fashion during our teenage years.

Generally speaking, you could say that the whole process of finding your true style is one of an evolving kind, one that is slow and develops in a mostly subconscious way. Being in my forties now and reflecting on my own ‘evolution’ of style I can detect a certain shift within this evolution that took on slowly.

This shift in style can perhaps be best described as ‘me expressing who I am’ turning into, or better yet, evolving into ‘me understanding life on a deeper level’. And yes, I hear you thinking, that’s also called ‘maturing’, which can be applied as a perspective on all of life’s aspects, and therefore also on style. And that is entirely true… It is just that dwelling on this shift brought me some interesting insights, the reason why I am sharing some thoughts on this.

Let me first explain what I mean by the ‘me expressing who I am’ part of the evolution of style. When you are young, like in your twenties, you are still sort of figuring out who you are and what you really want to do in this life. At least that’s how it felt for me. During those years my style was strongly linked to this identity journey and very much inspired and influenced by my surroundings, like the people I hung out with, the music I listened to and the people I looked up to. Some of those people I still hang out with, a lot of that music I still enjoy and some of my admiration hasn’t gone. But as you grow older you become more and more aware of your own personality and your own beliefs. Expressing those becomes more and more of a second nature. From the ‘me expressing who I am’ part of my style evolution, I know for example that being the optimist that I am I a love making bold choices when it comes to interior styling, and that being an introvert I love my home to feel cozy and calm. From this same stage in the evolution of my personal style, I know that my choices in interior styling are also influenced by my interests in art and travel. Guess you could say that when it comes to your style that this expressing yourself comes across as rather obvious.

It is the part of my style evolution that I mentioned earlier, the one I am more and more shifting into, that fascinates me. Still, what do I mean by the ‘me understanding life on a deeper level’ part of my evolution? Well, being in my midlife transition I reflect on plenty of experiences, good ones and bad ones. As for everyone on this journey called life the years bring an accumulation of insights and perspectives. Experiencing life made me understand insights that are embedded in sayings like ‘there lies beauty in imperfection’, ‘you have to change to stay the same’ or ‘it’s the little things in life’. As I grew older these wisdoms started resonating on a soul level and with that on a creative level. Now I realize how it continues to influence and slowly shape my personal style. As there lies beauty in imperfection I don’t strive for perfection within my own aesthetics and I even like to highlight ‘flaws’ to keep my perspectives of beauty openminded. How I am changing to stay the same seems to be by always challenging myself in how I choose contemporary art and make it part of an interior. And because it’s the small things that matter, I want to avoid having a style that comes across as pretentious and enjoy keeping things playful, simple and real.

These insights make me want to suggest that maybe when next time you are making a visual mood board for a new interior, it could be very interesting to also reflect on which message you would like to convey on a ‘wisdoms of life’ level and maybe write down some thoughts, quotes, lyrics or verses that resonate with you. I bet they will help you articulate your style in a deeper and more playful way.

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